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Ableton, Airwindows and my Render Routine Saturation Plugins
Old 3 days ago
  #1
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Ableton, Airwindows and my Render Routine

Hello,

Long time lurker here first post.

I have an ableton project at 44.1 recordings at 32 bit.

I use a mixture of software and hardware so deal with both midi and live audio.

I use Abletons internal mixer to get my tracks sounding as near as perfect as possible, I keep an eye on the signal between plugs and never drive the main mixer too hard. Always around -6.

I then export my track as stems, bouncing at 44.1 no dither.

I import into a 44.1 Reaper project and keeps everything in its default position (unity I believe?).

I apply Airwindows console5 channel to every channel and console5 buss on the master 1-2.

I leave Reapers faders alone and use the gain trim within console5 to make minor adjustments.

If I add any extra vts I add them before console5channel in the chain.

I then render the project to 44.1 24 bit with dither.

Am I doing this right? Am I over complicating by exporting to Reaper, could the same results be achieved in Ableton alone?

I don't use warp and have HQ set in Ableton.

Thanks for your time.
Old 3 days ago
  #2
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Acid Mitch's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elle_Kappa View Post

Am I doing this right? Am I over complicating by exporting to Reaper, could the same results be achieved in Ableton alone?
.
What happens when you try just using Ableton ?
Old 2 days ago
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acid Mitch View Post
What happens when you try just using Ableton ?
well because console5 is supposed to be used with everything daw set to unity,
and because I have been using abletons own mixer, so faders everywhere, I feel I have to render to stems and open new default project anyway.


Since my audio is leaving the DAW regardless, I figure I will use Reaper as I have read that it has a superior rendering/audio engine to Ableton.
Old 2 days ago
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elle_Kappa View Post
well because console5 is supposed to be used with everything daw set to unity,
and because I have been using abletons own mixer, so faders everywhere, I feel I have to render to stems and open new default project anyway.
Can’t you leave Abletons faders alone and mix using console5 with out bouncing anything ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elle_Kappa View Post
Since my audio is leaving the DAW regardless, I figure I will use Reaper as I have read that it has a superior rendering/audio engine to Ableton.
You can read claims about every daw sounding the best.
Without trying you’ll never know for sure if it makes a difference or not.
Old 2 days ago
  #5
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monomer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Am I doing this right?
I'm sorry to sound cheesy but there is no right.

Whatever works for you is right.

So maybe you should think about if and why it doesn't work for you.
Old 2 days ago
  #6
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monomer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elle_Kappa View Post
well because console5 is supposed to be used with everything daw set to unity,
That's an overstatement.
You can use any plugin however you like it as long as it gives you the results you want.

The other day i was checking out airwindows and i was driving the hell out of some of the plugins.

From my perspective there are no magic bullets. Everything is a tool and you should learn the tool and apply it when YOU think its needed, in the ammount you want it to.
Old 2 days ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elle_Kappa View Post
Hello.
A warm welcome to the forum.

I use Ableton and have been using Airwindows plugs for around a decade.
In my opinion, you are making things wayyyyy more complicated than necessary.

I tend to leave all of my faders at 0 in Ableton, just because it's a habit I developed using Apple Logic back when 'undo' did not apply to fader changes, so if you touched it by accident you lost the setting.

However, I don't believe Airwindows even expects you to do this. I don't think that's what they mean by unity gain. What Is Unity Gain?
Rather, I'd interpret that to mean something like 'if you record your synth at a stupidly low level, pass it through the Airwindows plug at that low level, then boost it later, you won't get the expected results.'

To be honest, I recently haven't faffed with those plugs, but if I did, I wouldn't dream of doing what you describe. Lots of unnecessary work.
Old 2 days ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simonator View Post
A warm welcome to the forum.

I use Ableton and have been using Airwindows plugs for around a decade.
In my opinion, you are making things wayyyyy more complicated than necessary.

I tend to leave all of my faders at 0 in Ableton, just because it's a habit I developed using Apple Logic back when 'undo' did not apply to fader changes, so if you touched it by accident you lost the setting.

However, I don't believe Airwindows even expects you to do this. I don't think that's what they mean by unity gain. What Is Unity Gain?
Rather, I'd interpret that to mean something like 'if you record your synth at a stupidly low level, pass it through the Airwindows plug at that low level, then boost it later, you won't get the expected results.'

To be honest, I recently haven't faffed with those plugs, but if I did, I wouldn't dream of doing what you describe. Lots of unnecessary work.
Thanks Simon that's the sort of constructive reply I was after!

I grit my teeth whenever someone asks a technical questions and a user says "use your ears" or "there is no right way".. we knowwwww.

May I ask why you haven't used the airwindows stuff for a while? I'm new to it.
Old 2 days ago
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elle_Kappa View Post
May I ask why you haven't used the airwindows stuff for a while?
It's perfectly good. I just simplified my workflow.

I guess I initially stopped using it in favour of an analogue mixer I bought... But sacked that off, came back in the box, now my latest track is way simpler in terms of mix tricks like that.

Maybe it's also that I've started to favour a cleaner sound also... Before I was always trying to dirty things up.
Old 2 days ago
  #10
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If you want to leave Ableton faders at zero you can use the built in Utility plug to alter volumes. Some claim Utility impacts sound quality but I cant hear it.
Old 2 days ago
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simonator View Post
It's perfectly good. I just simplified my workflow.

I guess I initially stopped using it in favour of an analogue mixer I bought... But sacked that off, came back in the box, now my latest track is way simpler in terms of mix tricks like that.

Maybe it's also that I've started to favour a cleaner sound also... Before I was always trying to dirty things up.
If I am using console5, for example, am I placing console5channel on every channel (including groups and returns?) and console5buss on my master 1-2?

does console5channel get placed after sound source (audio, vst synths ect) but BEFORE other plugs or does it come at the end of the chain?

Thanks for your insight!
Old 2 days ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuehler View Post
If you want to leave Ableton faders at zero you can use the built in Utility plug to alter volumes. Some claim Utility impacts sound quality but I cant hear it.
I have heard there is an advantage to using a gain plug to alter gain before hitting the channel faders
Old 2 days ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuehler View Post
If you want to leave Ableton faders at zero you can use the built in Utility plug to alter volumes. Some claim Utility impacts sound quality but I cant hear it.
That's what I tend to do, just out of habit.

I'm not precious about it though; I do use the faders at the final mixdown.
Old 2 days ago
  #14
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Simonator's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elle_Kappa View Post
does console5channel get placed after sound source (audio, vst synths ect) but BEFORE other plugs or does it come at the end of the chain?
Always the very very last on the chain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elle_Kappa View Post
If I am using console5, for example, am I placing console5channel on every channel (including groups and returns?) and console5buss on my master 1-2?
Channel every point audio leaves a track or a bus (apart from the master bus) eg also last plug on the drum bus, if you have one.

Buss every point audio ENTERS a bus (including the master bus)..... Though I seem to recall something about leaving it off reverbs (?) you'd need to check the manual.
Old 2 days ago
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elle_Kappa View Post
I grit my teeth whenever someone asks a technical questions and a user says "use your ears" or "there is no right way".. we knowwwww.
But now that you have opposing views how do you know who to agree with without using your ears?
Old 2 days ago
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acid Mitch View Post
But now that you have opposing views how do you know who to agree with without using your ears?
I feel like you are just baiting me.. but whatever:

Its not like I simply asked "which mic is best for my voice", I asked a question about a specific console set up - while I had checked the airwindows website and thought I had it right it was nice to have some input from a user who said they had actually USED the console plug in question and confirmed that how they used it aligned with how I am.

"Just use your ears" feels like a vacuous reply in this instance, but then again maybe it was a vacuous post to begin with?

Or maybe someone else out there is looking to know how to set up console5 in their projects and has some questions about the veracity to claims that daw engines are of varying calibres and this will prove useful?

Judging by Simons post history and music I invested a bit of trust in his relevant and useful reply.
Old 2 days ago
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elle_Kappa View Post
I feel like you are just baiting me.. but whatever:

.
For what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elle_Kappa View Post
I
Its not like I simply asked "which mic is best for my voice", I asked a question about a specific console set up -
In the op you asked
"Am I over complicating by exporting to Reaper, could the same results be achieved in Ableton alone?" and then you went on to say "I figure I will use Reaper as I have read that it has a superior rendering/audio engine to Ableton."

Your question boils down to "which is best, Reaper or Ableton?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elle_Kappa View Post
Judging by Simons post history and music I invested a bit of trust in his relevant and useful reply.
Don't some of the people who claim Reaper gives better results have equally impressive credentials?

* No disrespect meant to you Simonator, just pointing out the imortance of trying things for ones self.
Old 2 days ago
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acid Mitch View Post
* No disrespect meant to you Simonator, just pointing out the imortance of trying things for ones self.
None taken.

Just to clarify though, I thought that - rather than asking which DAW is best - he's more asking about whether his process is worthwhile.
For example, let's say for the sake of discussion that Reaper *is* superior [NB I'm not saying this is the case - just a hypothetical scenario to illustrate the point] - that could truly be the case yet it still not give a sufficient benefit to make this lengthy and arduous process worthwhile.... At least that's what I understood the OP to be asking.

I fear this has the danger of descending into a fruitless argument about semantics. Both of you have valid positions:

The OP is asking for some guidance and is satisfied that he received it.

Acid Mitch makes a very valid point to a forum-newcomer that you should always take forum advice with a pinch of salt and - even when the advice *is* sound - what works for one person may not work for another. Audio production is a big, beautifully subjective world and many of the greatest innovations have come from people not following the supposed rules.

Old 1 day ago
  #19
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monomer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elle_Kappa View Post
does console5channel get placed after sound source (audio, vst synths ect) but BEFORE other plugs or does it come at the end of the chain?
It will have a different effect depending on where you put it.

You may find it tedious when people are telling you 'use your ears' but you have to realize that technicalities and aesthetics are frequently overlapping in music production.
And since this is about getting 'a sound', it better be driven by aesthetics and not by some presupposed notion of how it's supposed to be technically done 'correctly'.

Anyway, let's see if @chrisj (airwindows) is willing to pop in and help you out...
Old 1 day ago
  #20
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usedtohaveajuno's Avatar
Big shout out to Chris @ Airwindows whilst this thread is here - I only have one regular Patreon payment and it's to him, I love his plug-ins
Old 1 day ago
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monomer View Post
It will have a different effect depending on where you put it.

You may find it tedious when people are telling you 'use your ears' but you have to realize that technicalities and aesthetics are frequently overlapping in music production.
And since this is about getting 'a sound', it better be driven by aesthetics and not by some presupposed notion of how it's supposed to be technically done 'correctly'.

Anyway, let's see if @chrisj (airwindows) is willing to pop in and help you out...
I get that - but I was under the impression that for mathematical reasons beyond my comprehension that airwindows console5 was to be set up in a very specific way for optimum performance.

I know you can slap an eq before a compressor, a compressor before an eq, use your ears ect but sometimes there is science at play that is beyond my not so golden ears.
Old 1 day ago
  #22
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Muser's Avatar
you can use Airwindows PurestGain at the end of the chain in Live and leave the faders at Zero. I tend to do that even in Reaper, which is my main DAW and then I have Reapers Fader preferences set to highest resolution around 0dB. in a DAW mix condition, tiny high resolution values can matter and level fader precision can be crucial to being able to make it matter. which is part of the idea behind PurestGain.
Old 1 day ago
  #23
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monomer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elle_Kappa View Post
I get that - but I was under the impression that for mathematical reasons beyond my comprehension that airwindows console5 was to be set up in a very specific way for optimum performance.

I know you can slap an eq before a compressor, a compressor before an eq, use your ears ect but sometimes there is science at play that is beyond my not so golden ears.
I think the only 'science' here is that if you set it up according to instructions you will get a particular gain staging and the effects of the plugin will be more in line with how an analog console reacts to particular amplitudes. So i think it's more about relating the behaviour you get from the plugins to a particular level in your DAW. A DAW has a hard limit in amplitude (0dBFS) so any subtle effects of such console plugin would be a lot lower than that, just to have enough headroom to have some more pronounced effects. It's about creating space in the dynamic range to be able to actually drive the plugin a little.
But that also means that if you want it to be subtle you will need to mix with the channels hitting the plugin a lot lower than 0dBFS, so let's say, -24 dBFS. But it all depends on the sound you want to get out of these plugins. It's up to you and how YOU judge the sound.

There MAY be some super subtle dithering or whatever going on all the way down in the noise that requires some sort of alignment, but realistically, that won't do a lot for your sound unless you have super super quiet passages that people would need to adjust the volume for just to be able to hear them.

Aanyway, my point is, if you can't hear the difference in the result, what sense does it make to insist doing something in a particular way?
Old 1 day ago
  #24
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Muser's Avatar
my hunch is that Airwindows console worked not as well with un dithered truncated levels. not sure how important that might be any more, if that was the case. I don't use console myself but you could always ask chris. point being, you might not have to stem out to Reaper if all you use it for is for running console. I think Reapers fader automation precision is 12bit, where Logic is 7bit. PurestGain is 80bit I think. but I don't think you can get to all those values even though it has more precision. and I'm not exactly sure how any DAW's underlying automation precision impacts any plugin in any case. and especially when actually being driven by the automation system of the given DAW. probably worth asking chris to be honest.
Old 1 day ago
  #25
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Well, i've read up on the console plugins and it turns out that they do indeed do some nonlinear coding/decoding.

For a normal situation you need to make sure no processing takes place between the channel plugin and the buss plugin, not even gain.
So it's pretty simple, on the channels do all your processing before the channel plugin, including any gain change. Leave your DAWs channel levels at 0. Put the buss plugin as the first plugin on your master or buss.

So it's pretty simple. For a normal situation you'd have no processing between the channel plugin and bus plugin.

And if you DO place plugins after the channel plugin or before the buss plugin you can get some interesting effects.
Old 1 day ago
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monomer View Post

you need to make sure no processing takes place between the channel plugin and the buss plugin, not even gain.
are you sure I need to?
Old 1 day ago
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elle_Kappa View Post
are you sure I need to?

If you want the standard setup then yes.
But i still think its worth experimenting with it.

Anyway, some apology is maybe in place. You're right and there is a good reason for wanting these plugins set up in a particular configuration. So sorry for pushing the creative agenda.
Old 21 hours ago
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monomer View Post

If you want the standard setup then yes.
But i still think its worth experimenting with it.

Anyway, some apology is maybe in place. You're right and there is a good reason for wanting these plugins set up in a particular configuration. So sorry for pushing the creative agenda.
haha its all good! I'm sorry for being so reactionary, sometimes round here it seems someone could ask "how do I rewire an XLR" and the answer would be "use your ears"...

I've been a lurker for a long time and I always used the search bar to good effect but this time I had a question I couldn't find the answer to...

As the great ringo starr says "peace and love"
Old 21 hours ago
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtohaveajuno View Post
Big shout out to Chris @ Airwindows whilst this thread is here - I only have one regular Patreon payment and it's to him, I love his plug-ins
BIG love for his plugs here! His general demeanour in his videos always makes me laugh too, there's something Tim Heidecker about it..

A total gem,

Edit: If Chris is around, or anyone else knows the answer - if I have console set up in ableton do I place consolechannel on individual tracks within the group followed by console buss, whatever plugs I choose, then consolechannel on the Group Buss track itself? Seeing as the Group Buss track is being sent to master (same for any returns - consolebuss, plugs, consolechannel)..

sorry if that doesn't make sense

Last edited by Elle_Kappa; 21 hours ago at 01:09 PM.. Reason: confused about console when using groups in ableton. Also: Returns and Reverbs.
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